How to Become a Data Scientist?

How to Become a Data Scientist?

What does it take to become a data scientist? What is the ideal background of a data scientist and what is the alternative path that I can follow when my background doesn’t fit into that profile? These are some questions that I often receive when addressing people interested in joining our team.

In this article, we will try to answer these and more important questions and give you an overview of how we go about hiring potential Data Scientists at trivago. So let’s dive in!

1. What is a Data Scientist? How Do You Define This Role?

First things first

As we look for new colleagues, we don’t want to limit ourselves by restricting the search only to someone having certain academic degrees or prior experience in a particular field. After all, we want to offer the most diverse and challenging tasks to our Data Scientists (and this goes for any team member as well, no matter what his or her background is).

What do we expect from a Data Scientist? While there can be many answers to this question depending on your company’s requirements and individual work profile, I want to highlight those that are most important for us:

Knowledge and understanding of data and its capabilities based on an academic degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science etc. (but not necessarily)

Experience with programming languages such as Python or R (but not necessarily either)

Experience with using machine learning algorithms (in practice even more important than having taken classes about machine learning).

How to Become a Data Scientist?

Experience with using Big Data technologies (Hadoop, Spark etc.)

The last two items are of particular importance for us at trivago. But what exactly do we mean by experience? You can still prove that you have the required skills even if you don’t have a degree in mathematics or computer science. However, it is important to show how you gained them and prove that they are transferable. This means that it’s crucial to put your acquired skills into the context of real projects and explain how the results were achieved. Let’s say you want to apply for Data Science jobs on our team but lack certain academic degrees or courses in machine learning – what should I do? The good news is: Even without any of the mentioned background knowledge, you can still apply for Data Science jobs at trivago. Here are some guidelines for alternative paths to becoming a Data Scientist:

You have an analytical mindset combined with statistical skills but no formal training in mathematics or machine learning algorithms

You are good at programming and want to work on machine learning problems that touch upon certain areas of computer science (e.g. the P vs NP problem)

Your applied experience may also come from working in big data environments using technologies such as Hadoop or Spark (we regularly assume this level of expertise even if you don’t have any academic degree but only practical experience). Provide us with code examples showing how you used these tools or frameworks! After all, we regularly see candidates that are excellent in theory but fail to see the practical applications or show how they can be transferred into practice.

2. What Are Our Expectations of a Data Scientist?

  • Have an inquisitive mind, don’t shy away from asking questions, think outside of the box
  • Are able to work independently while also being a great team player
  • Motivate yourself and others to reach ambitious goals
  • Are open for new challenges that go beyond your comfort zone (e.g. you join our Analytics Team but would like to occasionally work on big data tools, go for it!) We want people who are passionate about their field of expertise and eager to learn even more throughout their career at trivago – the sky is the limit!

3. Which Skills Are We Looking For?

  • Python (preferred language)
  • Scala (nice to have)
  • Apache Spark (really nice to have)

4. Where Can I Find More Information about Working at trivago?

Please take a look at our career page for more information about available job openings and other useful facts. Feel free to contact us if you still have any questions or thoughts on this topic – we’re looking forward to hearing from you! Yours, Mona Hossenkopf HR Specialist Analytics & Data Science Team trivago Nürnberg

Knowledge and understanding of data and its capabilities based on an academic degree in mathematics, statistics, computer science etc. (but not necessarily)

Experience with programming languages such as Python or R (but not necessarily either) and experience with using machine learning algorithms (in practice even more important than having taken classes about machine learning)

Conclusion

We provide some general guidelines on how to become a Data Scientist at trivago even without an academic degree. We regularly see people lacking some of these requirements who still manage to be successful in our company due to their practical experience or motivation. Of course, it is important for job applicants to understand that we do not offer any “one-size-fits-all” solution here – every situation has its own pros and cons depending on the individual’s specific circumstances.

Masab Farooque
Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios. When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games